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PaigeyPants

Labelling in US vs Canada for Medications

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I recently purchased (in Canada) a magnesium supplement without even considering whether it would be gluten-free or not. It lists "caramel" as a non-medicinal ingredient.

I called the company (Nature's Bounty) just to confirm that this would be okay, and she said that the product is imported from the US. She said that while the US supplier lists the product as gluten free, the Canadian labeling is not allowed to say gluten free because in the US they don't test for three gluten containing grains that Health Canada recognizes and requires testing for, so to label it gluten free here they would have to test them and they do not. 

I had never thought of this before, is this something I should be concerned about?  Just curious if this is something that other people have experienced or worry about. I would think that if it were labelled gluten free in the states, American customers would use the product without issue, so we likely can as well up here??

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I live in Canada and haven't had much trouble finding gluten-free labelled supplements. As far as I have noticed, all Life Brand (Shopper's Drug Mart store brand) vitamins are labelled gluten-free, and they make their pills in Canada. Most other inexpensive and common brands are labelled gluten-free, insofar as I have noticed.

The ones to watch out for are some of the "fancier" iron supplements - Eurofer and Palafer are not labelled gluten-free (no gluten ingredients). Jamieson has some gluten-free labelled supplements, but state that they use wheat/gluten in their facility (their gluten-free vitamin pills made me feel off, but I am quite sensitive).

I would steer clear of any supplement that isn't labelled gluten-free. Maybe the US one is fine, but... there's probably nothing special about it, and possibly safer options. There are so many inexpensive options available that are labelled gluten-free that there doesn't seem to be much point in risking it.

 

https://www.jamiesonvitamins.com/apps/help-center#!do-you-offer-gluten-free-products

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Thanks for the response, I had picked them up quickly without thinking, but you're right, it would be a good idea to just pick up something that I know for sure is safe when it's so easy to do so. 

Thanks for encouraging me to make a safe choice, it's easy to get complacent! 

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As an aside, Life Brand always says somewhere on the bottle which company/factory they outsourced to for manufacturing. Many of their OTC medications that I have come across are made by Apotex, which says it does not use gluten in its factory.

These meds are not labelled gluten-free (unlike some of the vitamins/minerals, made by a different company/factory), but likely only because Apotex does not test for gluten. I had a nasty cold/flu a few weeks back, and spent a long time in the pharmacy Google sleuthing different meds - this was the best I was going to get. As far as I can tell, I had no gluten problems with their ibuprofen.

Wish that regulatory agencies would make it easier for people with celiac/allergies (and pharmacists!) to determine if their meds were safe. Having to decipher/navigate company websites on your phone in a store is annoying at best, but even worse when you feel sick.

http://www1.apotex.com/us/products/allergen-information

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In the past when looking at cold medication etc I have asked the pharmacist and they have been able to provide some additional information which is not included on labels regarding allergen information which has been very helpful!

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